Let’s go to the Clark’s River, says reader

Greg Johnson of Clark’s (Fork) River Road
Thursday, August 15, 2019

There is no Clark’s river. There must be, there is a Clark’s river road. How did this happen?

First, some commissioners from Carbon County, without contacting anybody living on the stretch of road formerly known as Highway 212/310,  decided on their own a name for a road that was so ridiculous that their constituents requested and were granted a public meeting to name the new highway properly.

At that meeting on October 10th with a good turnout of the public, the consensus as given to all property owners on the road by the Yellowstone commissioners, was to name the road Clark’s Fork River Road. All is good, or so the property owners thought.

Sometime between that meeting and the opening of the new highway, the Carbon County Commissioners decided on their own to change the name of a historic river from The Clark’s Fork River to Clark’s River. (There is no Clark’s river in Montana.)  But then again, according to Scott Blain, Carbon County Commissioner, “geographically the Clark’s Fork Of The Yellowstone is south of Rockvale, which is south of the section of road being renamed” The quote is from the minutes of their meeting on October 29, 2018.  That sure is a surprise to me as I live 1 mile south of Laurel and have a quarter mile of the Clark’s Fork River on my farm, as does every other farm on the east side of the road that goes 12 more miles south to Rockvale. I think the commissioner should look at a map of his jurisdiction if he thinks the Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone river stops south of Rockvale.

According to Janelle, at the GIS office in Billings, the road can be still named correctly if there is enough public input. The Yellowstone County Commissioners state they just went along with whatever the Carbon County Commissioners wanted. A good part of that road is in Yellowstone county and I feel they could have had least given it some thought, for the sake of their constituents at least.  Even the road sign at the turn off to Clark’s River road shows it as “Clarks Fork River Road. At least the sign knows better.

Greg Johnson of Clark’s (Fork) River Road

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